ADABAS database migration and modernization

Smoothly transfer the capabilities and functions of your ADABAS legacy system to a modern RDBMS, like Oracle, AWS Aurora, DB2, or many more, with a fully automated legacy modernization solution! Let our automated Adabas database migration solution take off the burden of migration from the shoulders of your team starting from conceptualization until going live.

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Our solution

Enjoy the hands-off Adabas conversion experience while freeing up your IT team

The FreeSoft DataLiberator engine, which is an automated Adabas conversion solution, generates a totally new relational database with a click of a button while preserving the full functionality and purpose of the original database. The easy-to-use data model migration gives an opportunity for our clients to reconsider their old databases with manageability and scalability in mind.

While transferring the Adabas database into a more modern relational database, organizations can reshape their data structures by considering the most modern design principles. Thanks to our automated and flexible code conversion process, the target database can be on or off-mainframe.


The targets of Adabas mainframe conversion

FreeSoft’s DataLiberator engine, which is a part of the FreeSoft LiberatorWorkbench toolset, provides end-to-end ADABAS migration solutions to various Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) and NoSQL.

Adabas to RDBMS

Our ADABAS to any RDBMS migration solution generates all requested scripting and process input for the DBA to execute a fully automated ADABAS conversion procedure.

  • Adabas to Oracle migration
  • Adabas to MS SQL Server
  • Adabas to MySQL, AWS Aurora migration
  • Adabas to PostgreSQL migration
  • Adabas to DB2 migration

Adabas to NoSQL

  • Adabas to MongoDB
  • Adabas to Couchbase
  • Adabas to AWS DynamoDB

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Why is our ADABAS modernization strategy unique?

The advantages of choosing FreeSoft

1.    All Adabas constructions and functions are supported

Thanks to our end-to-end Adabas migration solution, legacy database migration, and modernization have never been easier. We support all Adabas constructions and specialties, like Periodic group, Multiple values, Null suppression, or Superdescriptor.

2.    Configurable processes

The FreeSoft DataLiberator engine guarantees configurable processes for a fully customized experience. It also covers ETL processes and scripting for the data migration of ADABAS unloaded data to the target database schema. It transforms the ADABAS data according to the generated target relational schema data definitions and finally, it executes the data load processes.

3.    Unparalleled performance

Based on our experience, our hands-off Adabas modernization solution is among the fastest automated conversion tools on the market. We achieve this benefit by working with compressed stores. We designed the DataLiberator to utilize available system resources in a highly efficient manner, considering the available time window for switch-over or go-live.

4.    Generation of data validation tools

While performing the migration procedure, the DataLiberator Engine generates data validation tools – quick check or byte-by-byte check – that ensure the validity of the necessary data. This is how we make sure the data in the new and the old database are 100% identical.


Our Process

The steps of the Adabas database migration procedure

1.    Gathering information

Analysis and data discovery should be the first step of every Adabas database (db) modernization process. In this step, we map the existing legacy technology of the client and assess their requirements. We gather information about the database (FDT and DDM), in order to reach a state where consistent database definition and test data are available.

2.    Optimization

Before delivering the tool to our client, we finetune the conversion tool with test data samples. Therefore, we are able to configure the tool according to the requirements of the client, including input and output database specialties. This way, sensitive data never leaves the premises of our partner.

3.    Conversion

This is the step where the automated conversion takes place. Due to the fully automated mainframe modernization procedure, clients can take their organization to the next level with a click of a button.

4.    Validation, testing, and reconciliation

The goal of the migration validation is to prove that the data content is identical in the old and the new database. To prove this, we dump both the legacy database and the target database and compare the dumped data. There are two approaches we apply; quick compare and byte-by-byte compare.

In the context of ADABAS migration, we can test and validate the data only. For more extensive validation that requires Natural application functionality, we can perform validation on the converted Natural application.

5.    Support

Even if we do our best, we cannot always evade the rare occasions of the migration process’s failure. However, our team is here to mitigate all issues. In case of a failed validation, we start to repeat the process starting from the second “Optimization” step, to make sure it achieves the expected result the next time.

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Challenges of ADABAS mainframe migration

Transferring functionality

Throughout the modernization process, we need to conserve 100% of the functionality of the previous system. We need to implement the used specialties close to the database so that the converted application doesn’t even “realize” the change in the underlying system. Our objective is to utilize future-proof technologies that transparently enable the operation of the database in parallel with the converted application.


Owing to the differences between how Natural & Adabas and the new modern database manage requests, we might face some performance issues after migration. We can only discover these technical problems after it has been completed, during the thorough testing phase. Our team fixes all underlying issues and optimizes the application before switching it with the old system. Thanks to this meticulous approach, end-users will be able to conduct business as usual with a better and faster system.


Our products

How can FreeSoft assist with ADABAS migration?


It is our unified framework for automated legacy migration and modernization encompassing sophisticated tools that support and execute each phase of the legacy modernization lifecycle. Learn more


KnowledgeLiberator is the starting point of all legacy modernization projects. We use this source code processing tool to capture the current design and state of the application, so we can integrate it into the conversion strategy. Learn more


This automated migration solution uses the metadata collected by KnowledgeLiberator to create mappings between the old and the new database, migrate data schema, and execute normalization. Learn more


CodeLiberator transforms business logic developed in 3rd and 4th gen programming languages into applications with the Java or .NET technology stack, using metadata created by KnowledgeLiberator. Learn more


We use AppTester to test and validate the result of the automated modernization process by recording test cases and replaying them in the target scenario. Then, it automatically evaluates the results. Learn more


FAQ in ADABAS Migration

What is the ADABAS database?

ADABAS is a non-relational enterprise database management system (DBMS), which organizes and accesses data with the use of relationships among data fields. It supports the Natural fourth-generation programming language that is primarily used in application development and deployment environment.

Why modernize the ADABAS database?

There are several issues with this database, including its limited flexibility. Adabas & Natural applications are no longer able to keep up with the changing market demands. Furthermore, the constantly diminishing talent pool of professionals makes it difficult for organizations to hire experienced developers. Last, but not least, the maintenance of legacy systems is far more expensive than their cloud-native counterparts’.

What do you need to be ready for migration?

Database migration is an intricate task, so your organization needs to prepare in a wide variety of ways. First, you will need dedicated personnel to perform preparation tasks. This team needs an ADABAS database admin, a Natural developer with domain knowledge, and a target database admin with legacy knowledge. Then, you will need to make sure that your FDT and DDM are in a consistent state, while you will require a test database.

How long does it take to complete an ADABAS database migration project?

There are no two identical mainframe modernization processes. While the automated procedure itself is quite fast – can be completed in a matter of hours -, the length of the whole database migration procedure depends on a range of factors, such as the available resources of the customer to prepare the database in a consistent state, possibly taking a few months.

Can you migrate an ADABAS database without the Natural application?

It is possible, though the need for Natural conversion – even in a later phase – may influence how ADABAS structures and data are migrated. An ADABAS database in itself can be migrated to any target database, including special native features (Periodic group, Multiple values, Null suppression, Superdescriptor, etc.).

What kind of databases can you convert Adabas into?

Our automated solution has been specifically designed to convert Adabas into any kind of database solution. Ranging from RDBMSs, like SQL Server, Microsoft MSSQL server, Oracle, DB2/UDB, PostgreSQL to NoSQL, such as MongoDB, CouchBase, or AWS DynamoDB.

How do you test and validate the results?

Our 5 step database migration method includes testing, validation, and reconciliation in the fourth step. Here, we apply two methodologies, the quick compare, and the byte-by-byte compare approach. By using either of these automated testing procedures, we can check whether the data elements are identical in the old and the new database, thus confirming the success or the failure of the process.


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